Programs and Accomplishments

AAFSA Accomplishments

History

  • Initial conversations in 2002
  • University approved organization (2005)
  • Inaugural president – Dr. Judith Wakefield (2005)
  • Inaugural sponsors (Dr. Kathryn Gage and Dr. Bill Radke – 2005)

Advocacy

  • Influential in the establishment of the University Committee on Diversity through the advocacy for a more diverse faculty and staff body
  • Commissioned a mural depicting African-American contributions to the University
  • Advocated and provided support for Mr. Booker T. Washington to be enshrined in the UCO Athletics Hall of Fame (2018)
  • Advocated with and provided support for the Black Student Association in the establishment of a meeting room in the Nigh Center named after Oklahoma and national civil rights pioneer Clara Luper
  • Provided leadership and guidance to the Latino, Native American and LGBTQIA Faculty/Staff Associations in establishing their respective organizations

Scholarship

  • Hosts Black Faculty Research Symposium
  • African American faculty serves as mentor(s) for UCO McNair Scholars Program
  • African American faculty teaches student success classes designed for Black Male Initiative participants
  • Collaborates with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to host the annual Black Graduation Ceremony

Student Support (Programming and Financial)

  • Established and implemented an account specifically designed to support programs, events and scholarships for students – solely funded by AAFSA membership
  • Awarded over $15,000 in scholarships to students since 2011 (AAFSA Book Award)
  • Collaborates with the Black Student Association to host the Annual Black History Month Keynote Address
  • Supports and participates in the annual UCO Black Male Summit. Recognizes current UCO student with a $1000 scholarship
  • Supports and participates in the annual UCO Black Girl Magic Program. Recognizes current UCO student with a $1000 scholarship award
    • Recently named scholarship award to Meshawn Conley-Green Leadership Award
  • Hosts Holiday Luncheon for students during Finals Week (December)

Distinguished Alumni

  • Identified and honored the first African-American students to enroll and graduate from the University of Central Oklahoma. Six graduate students enrolled in 1954. Three undergraduate students enrolled in 1955
  • Hosted a keynote address where three of UCO’s first African-American undergraduate and graduate students (Elizabeth Hilton Threatt, Alberta Eddens, and Murray Butler) were featured speakers
  • Identified and honored UCO’s first African American athlete to graduate – Mr. Booker T. Washington (1960)
  • Identified and honored UCO alum and OKCPD’s First Black Police Chief – M.T. Berry

Awards and Recognitions/BHM Keynote Speakers

  • Honored 19 UCO faculty, staff and former students with the You Made A Difference Award since 2005 (see document)
    • Recently renamed the Dr. Judith Wakefield You Made A Difference Award (2020)
  • Researched, identified and selected 17 community leaders to deliver annual Black History Month Keynote Address since 2005 (see document)
  • Recognized and honored Dr. Paul Lehman as the first tenured African American faculty member

Community Engagement

Collaborations with the following:

  • Urban League of Greater OKC (Back to School Program, Equal Opportunity Day, Annual Gala Event, etc.)
  • OKC Black Chamber of Commerce (Fresh Start Breakfast, Annual Event and Awards Dinner, etc.)
  • OKC Black Elected Officials (Annual College Fair specially designed for the African American community) Collaborates with Perry Publishing and Broadcasting (supports AAFSA, ODI and BSA initiatives)
  • Collaborates with Guiding Right, Inc. (supports AAFSA, ODI and BSA initiatives)